How Much Pork Tenderloin Per Person? A Tender Subject

November 17, 2022

When serving meat, you should estimate around eight ounces per person. However, since meat shrinks when it cooks, you should buy around ten ounces of raw meat for each guest.

Unlike other cuts of pork, pork tenderloin may not be something that you cook up very often. So, it is quite likely that you are scratching your head, trying to figure out how much pork tenderloin per person. Well, working in restaurants, I learned all about portion sizes and I am here to let you in on the secret.

Here I am going to tell you how much cooked pork tenderloin you will need, show you how to make portion calculations, and guide you through making necessary adjustments. Let’s begin!

How much pork tenderloin per person

How Much Pork Tenderloin Should You Serve Per Person?

On average, you should aim to serve about eight ounces or half a pound of cooked pork tenderloin per person.

Keep in mind that this is just an estimate of how much pork tenderloin you should set aside for each person. There are various factors that can alter just how much pork tenderloin you will end up purchasing for a meal.

Understanding Shrinkage

Now, you will notice that I have specifically mentioned eight ounces or half a pound of cooked pork tenderloin. The reason for this is that when you cook pork tenderloin it shrinks due to moisture loss, especially as it is served boneless.

This means that you end up with less than you first started with.

Typically, cooking or grilling pork tenderloin will result in about 25 percent of shrinkage. Usually I would ask you to err on the side of caution and assume that the raw meat will shrink about 50 percent.

However, since pork tenderloin is pretty pricey – certainly more than pork loin, pork chops, pork roast, and center cut rib roast – I will ask you to calculate 25 percent shrinkage.

As a result, you will need to buy 25 percent more of raw pork tenderloin for each person.

Therefore, 10 ounces per person or 0.625 lbs per person should do the trick.

Striking a Balance Between Price and Portion

As you are well aware and as I have mentioned, tenderloin can be expensive. This is because it is such a tender cut of meat. It has that beautiful melt in your mouth texture that is hard to beat.

This is why you end up paying a lot more for tenderloin than you do pork loin or pork chops.

So, you may be looking at my calculations and shaking your head. Is it really worth it for you to spend quite so much on meat, particularly if you are inviting a lot of people?

If the thought of buying enough pork tenderloin to feed your guests is burning a hole in your pocket, there is a solution.

In this case, I would suggest a single serving size of four to six ounces per person. This will amount to about one fourth of a pound of raw meat.

Of course, you should keep in mind that you will need to may want to include other meat dishes or plenty of side dishes to offset the fact that you are serving less meat.

How Many People Does 1 Pork Tenderloin Serve?

Well, this does depend on how much the pork tenderloin weighs. On average, a pork tenderloin weighs about 1lb. However, the weight can vary from 3/4lbs to 1 1/2lbs.

Based on the calculations done above, this means that a 1lb pork tenderloin can feed about one and a half people.

Of course, if you are planning on serving a smaller portion, then a single pound of tenderloin may yield 2 or more servings.

How Many People Does a 2 lb Pork Tenderloin Serve?

If you will be serving a half pound of raw tenderloin, then you can get about 3 servings.

In case you are serving less, then you can get up to 4 servings for this weight.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Factors to Consider When Choosing Serving Size

Want to get a more accurate idea of how to find how much you should serve? Well, here are some factors to think about beforehand:

Your Guests Appetite

As you can imagine, no two guests have the same appetite. Due to this, your first order of business is to consider how much each person eats. If your guest list is pretty small, this should be easy enough to do.

If you know someone is a big eater, then consider giving them a half pound serving or a little more. On the other hand, if someone doesn’t have as big of an appetite or isn’t such a fan of pork, then you can buy a little less for them.

Although it is easy enough to look, consider if there are any vegetarians on the list or people who aren’t that fond of meat. You can skip the tenderloin for these people altogether.

Which Meal are You Catering For?

In some places, lunch is the biggest meal of the day. In other cases, people go all in for dinner. What rule do you and your friends follow?

If you are planning on having a satisfying but smaller meal, then it means that you don’t have to buy as much tenderloin. On the other hand, if the meal is taking place during a time that everyone eats a large quantity, then you should buy more meat.

Is the Tenderloin the Main Dish?

Are you planning on making tenderloin the star of the show? If so, you can’t really run out of it before each person has had their fill. This would make your meal a bit awkward.

Under these circumstances, you should buy as much as calculated or even a bit more, just to be on the safe side.

How Many Side Dishes are You Serving?

Last, but not least, consider how many side dishes you are including in the meal. If it is only going to be a few like salad and French fries, then more tenderloin will be required.

In the event that you are going to load up on the side dishes, then people will be able to fill themselves with these as well. Thus, a little bit less tenderloin is not going to be noticed.

Do You Want Leftovers?

Do you want there be to some tenderloin left over after the meal? If so, you need to add these into the calculations as well. However, if you only want to buy meat for that particular meal, then this will not be necessary.

Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon

How to Buy Less Tenderloin Per Person?

Want to save as much as possible by buying less tenderloin? Here is how to manage this:

Include Other Meat Items

The best thing to do is to include other cheaper meats in your round up. This way, you can get away with buying a smaller quantity of tenderloin.

If you want to stick with pork cuts, then pork loin or chops will be a good option. If you buy bone in pork loin, you can actually cut down on moisture loss and end up with more meat after the cooking process has been completed.

You can also include chicken, beef, turkey, or whatever you like! You may want to go with whatever is cheapest at your grocery store for that particular week.

In case you are wondering how much pork loin or other meat to buy, then follow the same rule as with tenderloins.

About eight ounces of cooked pork loin or other meat per person.

Avoid Drying Out the Meat

The more that you dry out the tenderloin, the smaller it will get. This is especially true since this is such a tender cut of meat.

One way to keep the meat nice and moist is to use and rely on a meat thermometer during the cooking process. This way, you can take it out exactly when it is done.

The other trick is to cook the meat with liquid – braising is a great way to prepare tenderloin. As you are adding moisture as the meat is cooking, not as much shrinkage will take place.

Have Heavy Side Dishes

If you think that you can only have light side dishes with tenderloin, think again! It is perfectly alright to pair with heavier dishes.

This can include mashed potatoes, potato salad, mac and cheese, garlic bread, and similar options.

For one thing, these are pretty popular side dishes and universally liked. Due to this, people will be more likely to heap on the servings of these foods.

For another, the foods are quite filling. People will not want to take as much tenderloin when they have other options to pile onto their plates.

While you can have a few salads, don’t make these the only type of side dishes that you serve with your meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Much Pork Do I Need for 6 People?

You should aim to serve about eight ounces of cooked pork per person. This means that you should buy about 10 ounces of raw meat per individual. In turn, you will require 3.75lbs of raw meat.

2. How Many People Will a 6 Pound Pork Loin Feed?

You should aim to feed each person about eight ounces of cooked meat. If you are serving pork loin roast or boneless pork loin, then you should expect some shrinkage. So, how much pork loin will this quantity feed? On average, this will feed about 9 and a half people.

Pork Tenderloin with Apples

Wrapping It Up

So, there you go – you now know how to calculate just how much tenderloin you will need to serve for each person. I have also included tips on how to make better calculations. Plus, if you want to save money and buy less meat, I have shown you how you can do this as well!

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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